|Maynard High School 1940 (Courtesy Maynard Historical Society)|
Life-long Maynard residents 70 and older would have graduated high school from the building that now hosts ArtSpace. When viewed from Summer Street, the wing on the right side was Maynard's fourth high school. It opened on October 2, 1916, making the class of 1917 the first graduating class. Construction cost $61,600. The town's voters had approved the idea of a new high school in 1913, then more specifically a school on this site in 1915. This is the part of the structure that is 100 years old. The rest was built ten years later.
In 1916 Maynard had a population of 6,770, with town water (but no town sewer system), electric street lights, houses lit by gas lamps or electric lights, more horses than cars, a train station, and a trolley line servicing Hudson, Stow, Maynard, Acton and Concord. There were five hotels. Silent movies were shown at Colonial Hall, above what is now Roasted Peppers restaurant.
|Maynard High School graduating class of 1917 (Courtesy MHS)|
Back in 1916-17 the school year was Labor Day to the end of June. Morning classes were 8:30 to 11:45. Afternoons 1:15 to 3:45. Half-days Wednesdays. There was no school lunch, nor any school bus transportation. The school had eight classrooms and 165 students – 78 boys and 87 girls. In that era school was mandatory through age 16, so the two lower grades had about 60 students each, whereas there were only 30 in the junior class and 16 in the graduating class.
The Principal was Horace F. Bates, graduate of Harvard. His salary was $1,480. Teachers included graduates from
College and .
Curriculum was basic – divided into Academic and Commercial tracks. Music and
art were each taught once a week. No foreign languages. No AP courses. Boston University
|Maynard High School baseball team, spring of 1917|
As noted above, the high school relocated to the south side of town in 1964. The elementary school was next, followed last by
in 2000. Four years earlier the town had
voted to appoint a Fowler School Building Reuse Committee. The conclusion,
reached in 1999, was that the only realistic plan was to lease the space to a
non-profit arts/cultural group. Fowler Middle
The official transfer of the building to ArtSpace Inc. took place January 2001. Today, ArtSpace provides 43 studio spaces for 80 artists. Demand remains high, with perhaps two or three studios becoming available each year. Rent for the artists is about nine dollars per square foot. The money raised suffices to pay for staff and operating costs. The town owns the building and property but pays nothing toward maintenance or operating costs.
|ArtSpace main entrance, in the 90 year old part of the building.|
Click on any photo to enlarge.
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